Egyptian Women Shine on Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Businesswomen 2024 List

Members of Top 50 Women Forum Have Spots on Forbes List

by Mona Yousef

The Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Businesswomen 2024 list showcases the outstanding achievements of 104 women from 28 nationalities and 27 sectors, with several Egyptian women standing out for their remarkable accomplishments.

Leading the pack for the second consecutive year is Hana Al Rostamani, the Group CEO of the First Abu Dhabi Bank. Al Rostamani’s exceptional leadership has not only secured her position at the top of the Middle East’s businesswomen but she has also been recognized on Forbes’ World’s Most Powerful Women 2023 list, ranking 63rd overall and 14th in the finance category globally.

Among the Egyptian winners, Pakinam Kafafi stands out as a trailblazer in her field. As the CEO of TAQA Arabia, Kafafi has been with the company since 2006 and oversees a team of 3,400 people. Her extensive experience, spanning over 29 years, has contributed to the company’s success, with TAQA Arabia reporting net profits of $6.3 million in June 2023. Kafafi’s influence extends beyond TAQA Arabia, as she is also a co-founding member of the IRENA industry decarbonization alliance and serves on the boards of prestigious organizations such as the British Egyptian Business Association and the Arabian Cement Company.

Marianne Ghali, in her role as a portfolio manager at Qalaa Holdings, has demonstrated her expertise in various sectors such as energy, cement, agrifoods, transportation and logistics, mining, printing, and packaging. Ghali’s remarkable leadership has contributed to Qalaa Holdings’ impressive revenues of $2.7 billion during the first nine months of 2023. Additionally, she plays a significant philanthropic role as the Treasurer of the Qalaa Holdings Scholarship Fund, which supports talented Egyptian students.

In the healthcare sector, Hend El-Sherbeni, the CEO of Integrated Diagnostics Holdings (IDH), has made significant strides. El-Sherbeni joined IDH in 2004 and became CEO in 2012. Under her guidance, IDH signed a joint venture agreement with Biolab and Izhoor Medical to launch a full-fledged pathology diagnostic services provider in Saudi Arabia. IDH’s robust financial performance is a testament to El-Sherbeni’s leadership, with the company recording $185 million in total assets and $98.5 million in revenues during the first nine months of 2023.

The real estate and construction sector boasts two notable Egyptian women on the list. Merette Elsayed, Chief Commercial Officer of Hassan Allam Holding and CEO of Legacy brings her 22 years of industry experience to drive growth and innovation. Dalia Wahba, CEO of Hassan Allam Utilities, contributes her expertise in managing the company’s operations. Both Elsayed and Wahba have demonstrated their prowess in the male-dominated sector, solidifying their positions as influential leaders.

Mona Zulficar, a prominent figure in the legal and investment sectors, is the Founding Partner and Chairperson of the Executive Committee at Zulficar & Partners Law Firm. Additionally, she chairs EFG Holding and leads several NGOs focused on women’s health and social development. Zulficar’s remarkable career includes serving as an elected member and deputy chairperson of the UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee, highlighting her commitment to both legal excellence and social progress.

Hoda Mansour, serving as the COO of Asia Pacific, Japan, Middle East & Africa at IFS, brings her extensive industry experience to oversee operations at the technology company. Mansour’s previous roles at SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft have equipped her with the knowledge and skills to drive technological innovation and transformation.

Elham Mahfouz, the CEO of the Commercial Bank of Kuwait (Al-Tijari), has played a pivotal role in the banking and financial services sector. With over 38 years of experience, Mahfouz’s leadership has contributed to the bank’s success, recording a net profit of $322.5 million in the first nine months of 2023. Her involvement in the Advisory Board for the American University of Kuwait further demonstrates her commitment to fostering growth and development in the region.

In the technology sector, Lana and Mirna, both holding significant positions at Microsoft Qatar and Microsoft Egypt, respectively, have demonstrated their prowess in leading innovative endeavors. Lana Khalaf’s journey with Microsoft began in 2006 and has since held various roles within the company. Mirna Arif, on the other hand, joined Microsoft Egypt in 2020 and has made substantial contributions to the company’s growth. Their leadership extends beyond Microsoft, with Lana Khalaf serving on the board of Banque Misr and Mirna Arif holding an independent non-executive director position at a leading telecommunications company in Egypt.

These Egyptian women, alongside other influential businesswomen from the MENA region, have proven their capabilities and shattered glass ceilings in their respective industries. Their accomplishments serve as an inspiration for aspiring female leaders and highlight the increasing recognition of women’s contributions to the business world. With their exceptional leadership and expertise, they are driving change, fostering innovation, and paving the way for future generations of women in business.

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Top 50 Women Forum is the first platform in Egypt to work exclusively on empowering women professionals, with the purpose of strengthening their contribution development & decision-making processes.

Top 50 Women Forum is the first platform in Egypt to work exclusively on empowering women professionals, with the purpose of strengthening their contribution development & decision-making processes.